|Approximately 70% of police calls in Delta relate to mental health, consuming significant police resources. There is increasing pressure for police to deal with issues of mental health, but most police officers do not have the required training. To better deal with mental health issues in the community, the Delta Police Department created the Community Health Intervention Program (CHIP). CHIP is a new model for community safety that teams a mental health officer from Fraser Health with a police officer from the Delta Police. Together, this CHIP team responds to police calls related to mental health, making home visits as required. One CHIP team has been in place in Delta since 2009.
|The objectives of the Community Health Intervention Program are to address people suffering from mental health issues and to increase public safety and client safety in Delta. CHIP is a more focused approach to mental health in the Delta community and a way to direct limited police resources more appropriately.
|An external university evaluation found CHIP to be a genuine success that has increased safety in Delta. The program has helped the Delta Police allocate its resources more efficiently and effectively. Follow-up to mental health calls is conducted by the CHIP team, freeing up non-designated officers for other police duties. Even with the presence of CHIP, the demand for this type of service in the community still outstrips the resources available. Evaluations have stated that the program should receive more resources so that it can expand and further benefit the Delta community.
|The CHIP team consists of one officer and two job-sharing mental health workers from Fraser Health. Startup costs for this program were approximately $300,000 and included staffing, vehicle and office costs. Ongoing costs are mainly salary costs at approximately $200,000 annually.
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